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Juan Galvez

Criminal Justice: 1010 018

Term Paper # 2

Prison Pipeline
The whole value of solitude depends upon oneself; it may be a sanctuary or a prison, a
haven of repose or a place of punishment, a heaven or a hell, as we ourselves make it.
John Lubbock, The Pleasures of life.
A correctional facility is a building where people are punished for crimes they have
committed or while awaiting trial. Administrators separate different kinds of offenders into
four levels and are based on the security needs of the inmates. The prison culture is
constructed on violence, inmates have been known to invent weapons out of everyday items
such as toothbrushes and mop handles. These weapons can be used during riots and most
the time their violence may not have any purpose. Violence can create problems such as
sexual assault. And most inmates refuse to report their sexual assaults because they are
ashamed of being rape victims. Prison officials are aware that any sexual contact is
prohibited but without these correctional officers, the prison would be anarchy. Correctional
officers must use the threat of violence (or actual violence) to keep order. Parole allows the
correction system to continue to supervise an offender, who is no longer incarcerated. But if
parolees break the terms of their early release, face the risk of returning to the institution. If
convicts, follow the conditions of their parole until the expiration date (or if their sentence
ends) they are discharged from supervision and eventually be released from prison. But the

largest obstacle to a prisoner reentering into society is life behind bars is different from the
outside. Their criminal past also limits the ability to find employment.
Prison is a building in which people are forcibly confined and denied a variety of freedoms
under the authority of the state as a form of punishment for crimes they have committed or
while awaiting trial. Prisons were virtually nonexistent before the 1700s. Prison was not
considered a serious punishment for crime, but was used for seldom. Common punishments
at that time included branding, fines, whips, hard labor, imprisonment and hanging. Many
people criticized the use of executions, and other harsh punishments. This was the
beginning of the early prison reformation. Governments turned more and more to
imprisonment as a serious form of punishment. The supremacy often punished offenders in
public to intimidate people from breaking the law. In addition, people who owed money
had to stay in prison until their debts were settled. Offenders' families could stay with them
and come and go as they pleased. The imprisonment of criminals expanded across the
United States and Europe. As the use of prisons as punishment became common practice,
penal innovations throughout continental Europe influenced the development of competing
prison discipline systems in the United States. Frank Shmallegar, Prison History.
Prison is a facility designed to house people convicted of felonies for lengthy periods of
time, whereas jails hold inmates while awaiting trial if they cannot post bail,
convicting/sentencing, temporarily detaining juveniles pending transfer to juvenile
authorities, holding mentally ill pending to health facilities, detaining those who violated
conditions of probation or parole and those who have jumped bail. Jails are also called on
to handle the overflow from state and federal prisons. Prisons are operated by federal and
state governments and hold inmates from all over America while jails are under the

jurisdiction of a city, local district, or county and hold inmates from the local community.
Prisons also often offer a wide variety of rehabilitation and educational programs for long
term prisoners while jails tend to focus only on the necessities of safety, food, and clothing.
Prison administrators separate different kinds of offenders. In federal prisons, the four level
types are based on the security needs of the inmates, one to four levels being minimum,
medium, maximum, and supermax.
Minimum and Medium security prisons are usually nonviolent and well behaved. They, for
the most part, commit less serious crimes and are not considered high risks for escaping or
causing harm, usually reserved for white collar criminals or other offenses like minor
assaults and small thefts. Although these are serious crimes, they are non-violent and are
not considered to be a risk. Therefore, guards do not have to be armed. These prisons have
high fences and dont require a lot of surveillance or security. Prisoners can be allowed off
grounds for educational or employment purposes. The inmates are locked in their cells each
night and a bed check and an inmate count is conducted to make sure each inmate is in their
proper cell.
Maximum and Supermax prisons are designed for full attention to security and
surveillance. In these prisons, the inmates lives are organized into a militaristic approach to
control the inmates movements, by limiting situations that could lead to a breakdown in
discipline like escaping, harming themselves, others and/or prison staff. The facilities have
concrete walls that stand 20 - 30 feet high and have been sunk deep into the ground to
prevent prisoners from tunneling. The fences are electrically charged and lined with barbed
wire. Unlike medium and minimum facilities which can have multiple occupants to a room,
max and supermax facilities can only contain one occupant because these inmates pose a

threat to other inmates. Maximum security facilities have a window to see out of compared
to supermax facilities which do not have any windows. Both have a slot for a food tray to
go in and out of. These prisons include far more guards than both minimum and medium
security, and far less freedom. Most of the inmates in these facilities are high risks to
commit murder inside and outside bars, and present a threat to society. Maximum inmates
typically spend 12-16 hours in their cells while supermax inmates are confined to their cells
for 22 hours each day. When they're allowed out, they're transported with physical restraints
and escorted to their desired locations with multiple guards. The prisons operate in the state
of a lockdown, which all inmates are confined to their cells and social activities such as
meals, recreational sports, and treatment programs are nonexistent. The prisoners also
stripped searched before and after leaving their cells and placed in waist
restraints/handcuffs on their way to and from the yard/showers.
The prison culture is constructed on violence. But nothing with time on their hands,
prisoners have been known to invent weapons out of everyday items such as toothbrushes
and mop handles. Also, when conditions such as overcrowding worsen, inmate wrongdoing
increases. Many riots are disorganized, and their violence may not have any purpose. These
incidents can often be credited, to poor living conditions and insufficient prison
administration. Race plays a major role in prison life, and prison violence is often a motive
for racial tension. Gang officiation is often the cause of inmate on inmate violence. And in
many instances, prison gangs are extensions of street gangs. Todays prisoners separate into
groups, with race determining every aspect of an inmate's life, which includes friends, job
assignments, and cell locations. More than four decades ago, the United States Supreme
Court put an end to the widespread practice of prison segregation, under which correctional

officials would place inmates in cells or blocks with those of a similar race or ethnicity.
Although, they can still segregate prisoners in an emergency.
In 2001, Human Rights Watch estimated that at least 140,000 inmates had been raped while
incarcerated in the United States. The problem of sexual assault in prison, is it receives
little to no attention. Prison officials are aware that any sexual contact is prohibited in most
correctional institutions. Most inmates refuse to report their sexual assaults because they
are ashamed of being rape victims. Rape is considered primarily an act of aggression and
power rather than sex, and rape victims are ranked to the lowest of the social hierarchy.
Although, in some instances, prisoners may accept rape by a powerful inmate in return for
protection from others. Abused convicts often suffer from sexual assault trauma and may
anchor psychological obstacles, including suicidal tendencies. However, most prisons do
not offer medical treatment for these victims, nor does the prison staff take necessary
measures to protect targets of rape.
Without correctional officers, the prison would be anarchy. Correctional officers must use
the threat of violence, or actual violence to keep order. If prisoners make an effort to
conform to the rules, the correctional officer will refrain from taking disciplinary matters.
Courts generally have been unwilling to put too many restrictions on the use of force by
correctional officers. Force by correctional officers violates an inmate's eighth amendment
protections only if the force amount to the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain. The
supreme court ruled that minor injuries suffered by a convict at the hand of a correctional
officer following an argument did violate the inmates rights, because there was no security
concern at the time of the incident. Not how much force was used, whether the officer used
the force as a part of a good faith effort to restore discipline or acted Maliciously and

sadistically Larry K. Gaines, Intro to Criminal Justice. Inmates do not have the same
guaranteed rights as other Americans. Justified use of force when officers are: Acting in
self-defense, defend the safety of a third person, upholding the rules of the institution,
preventing a crime such as assault/destruction of property/theft, and preventing an escape
effort. The judicial system has not, however given correctional officers total freedom of
direction to apply force. The seriousness of the violations can range from a loss of
privileges such as visits from a family member to solitary confinement. For minor
violations inmates, may be let off easy with a verbal warning. The treatment of prisoners is
based on a balancing act. The supreme court created the identifiable human needs
standards for determining Eighth amendment violations, by this, a prisoner must show that
the institution has denied her or him a basic need such as food, warmth or exercise.
Parole allows the correction system to continue to supervise an offender, who is no longer
incarcerated, if they follow the conditions of their parole, they can finish the rest of their
term outside of prison. But if parolees break the terms of their early release, face the risk of
returning to the institution. About eighty percent of inmates leave prison through one of the
parole mechanisms (parole, expiration release, pardon, and furlough). An expiration release
occurs when an inmate has served the maximum amount of time on the initial sentence,
minus reductions for time credits, and is not subjected to supervision. The president, and
the governor can grant a pardon, or forgive a convicts criminal punishment. Some inmates,
who qualify good behavior and generally proving that they do not represent a risk to
society, can leave the prison on a furlough for a certain amount of time, usually between
day and a week. Life without parole is reserved for those who have committed first degree
murder or are defined as a habitual offender (a person convicted of a new crime who was

previously convicted of a crime). Inmates cannot apply for parole; an inmates case
automatically comes up for review after certain matter of days. Like probationers, parolees
are placed under the supervision of a parole officer and are required to follow certain
conditions. If convicts, follow the conditions of their parole until the expiration date, they
are discharged from supervision. If, however the individual breaks a condition, the parole
authorities have discretion to revoke whenever they feel like it.
The largest obstacle to prisoner reentry is simply that life behind bars is completely
different from life on the outside. Depending on the length of incarceration, a released
inmate must adjust to an array of economic, technological, and social changes that took
place while she/he was behind bars.- Craig Haney, The Psychological Impact of
Incarceration. Such as clothing, using a cell phone, technology in general, may be
completely different to someone who has completed a long prison term. A criminal past
limits the ability to find employment. Theres also the dilemma of private property owners
refusing to rent housing to someone with a criminal record. No transportation, place to
live, and no ability to gain employment. These problems make a successful reentry difficult
to obtain. Prison prepares you for the reentry by getting an education, help finding a job
(employers are only about half as likely to hire job applicants with criminal records as they
are those with clean ones), freeing themselves from addictions such as drugs and alcohol,
and help avoid hanging out with old friends that got them into the correctional facilities.
Virtually a third of correctional facilities offer work release programs, in which prisoners
nearing the end of their sentences can paid for employment in the community.

Books Used:
The Pleasures of Life, By John Lubbock.
Prison History, By Frank Shmallegar.
Intro to Criminal Justice, By Larry K. Gaines

Scholarly Journal Used:

Haney, Craig. "The Psychological Impact of Incarceration: Implications for Post-Prison
Adjustment." ASPE. University of California, 06 Mar. 2016. Web. 10 Dec. 2016.